How to Remove Odours from Your Family Car


Irrespective of how meticulous you are about cleanliness, your car is bound to become saturated with some foul-smelling odours. Various factors can be responsible for this, some of which might not be easily noticed.

The presence of rotten food, spilled drinks, vomit or other dirt dragged in by shoes in your car can be the cause of the foul smell. However, the odour could be the presence of mould or mildew in your car interior.

Although your vehicle can not have the new car smell forever, the following are ways by which you can keep your car smelling clean and fresh for longer.

Clean up the trash

Cleaning up the debris in your car is the first step to ensuring an odour-free interior. It is easy for garbage to accumulate, especially if you transport children regularly.

Hence, it would be best if you endeavoured to keep your car free from rubbish but ensuring that passengers take all wrappers and food debris with them.

It is also advisable to clean spills or expelled food immediately or shortly after they happen to prevent the upholstery or floor mats from absorbing the smell.

Use the vacuum

Even if you clean spills and debris from your car steadfastly, the seats, mats and floors can become permeated with smells and dirt over time, especially if there is a lot of traffic.

You can use a vacuum with the upholstery tool attached to dig in and clean embedded dirt. If you use a baby car seat, it is best to remove it so you will be able to clean the surface underneath.

Removing the car seat cover and washing them will also help to ensure no hidden nasties are lurking in the chair. You can choose to wipe down the rest of the seat too.

Utilize odour-absorbing materials

Various organic products can be used to absorb smells. These materials can be easily obtained and require little effort to use. Here are some ideas.

Baking soda- Sprinkle a small amount of the powder onto dry seats and floors. Leave the soda for a few hours and then clean or vacuum it.

Vinegar- Dilute the fluid in a spray bottle with water. Spray onto all of your car interiors and wipe with a microfiber or soft cloth.

Activated charcoal- Leave an open bag or container of charcoal in your car to a few hours. You can also choose to leave it permanently, to provide continuous absorption of odour.

Cat litter- This works in the same way as baking soda though it might be much harder to clean up. However, a thorough vacuuming should clean it off adequately.

Perform a thorough search

If the foul smell persists after using the methods listed above, you need to carry out a thorough inspection. Check all nooks and crannies including the glove box, underneath and between seats, floors, air vents and cup holders.

Mildew or mould could have been formed due to the presence of moisture that has gone unattended. If you detect mould, air out the area, clean with vinegar and water solution or spray the site with a fungicide.

Keeping the Air Fresh

After you might have gotten the foul odour out, you can keep your car smelling nice by using air fresheners. There are lots of different options and fragrances you can choose from.

You could also decide to use your favourite essential oils by putting them on a cotton swab or pad and placing it in concealed areas. You can also set it near your air vents or make use of diffusers.

If your car starts smelling a bit off again, do not use air fresheners to disguise the problem. Ensure you get to the root of the problem and get rid of it, so the problem does not continue and get worse.

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